Today’s principle focus is on friendship.
Scripture of the day:
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24
Today’s Positive Words of Affirmation and Encouraging Words to Live By:
“Today I will be a great friend to somebody else, and remember that Jesus is a closer friend to me than even a brother.”
THE REALITY OF FRIENDSHIP, WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
If you have spent anytime in a hierarchy such as in leadership, management, or the military, you will agree with me that sometimes being a leader is a lonely feeling. People can often judge you, not see eye-to-eye with you, and more than likely can’t figure you out. Please remember however that the old adage holds true, leaders are readers. Anyone who has ever become a great leader at anything, has spend countless hours on personal growth or has earned specified education. People who are content to just “follow” leaders most often don’t focus on growth of any kind. It has been in my experience that when you are a leader, you can expect the majority of your friendships to be just that of mere fellowships.
If you feel that you are a “lonely leader”, remember that Jesus is right there beside you. If you feel that He has grown silent to you, open the book of John and just start reading the Bible again, you will begin to feel Him and then take a deep breath, recognizing that you are not alone.
INNER-COURT & OUTER-COURT
Have you ever learned about the different levels of friendship? About two years ago, I heard an excellent sermon on the varied levels of friendship and suddenly friendship as a whole became clear to me. The Preacher used an “inner-court and outer-court” analogy.
He explained that, when the first temple for the Lord was established, within it was found an outer-court, an inner-court, and the Holiest of Holies. Basically the outer-court was for congregating and assembly, the inner-court was for the priests, and the Holiest of Holies was where the Lord resided. The levels to entering into God’s presence were specific and there were rules, regulations, and statutes designated for each entry level to get into the Holiest of Holies. There was only one special man who was able to enter into the presence of the Lord.
THE LEVELS OF FRIENDSHIP
- “Outer-Court” Friends: Everyone has outer-court friends. These are the people that you have for dinner, you are invited to parties with, and you can talk about things on the surface level with. Maybe, as a leader, you can go deep into their lives, but you would never reveal to them things of a personal nature for yourself. You could be listening to them speak to you about their financial problems, while you yourself had issues… but you would/could never let them know such intimate details about yourself. This level of friendship is a very common one, you could have hundreds of friends in this position. Joyful, fun, acquaintances.
- “Inner-Court” Friends: An inner-court friend is a rare, golden, and precious commodity. If you have “inner-court” friends, chances are that you only have a few. Less than one handful. These are the friends who no-matter-what you are going through, you can call them and talk to them, non-judgmentally. While you are out saving the world for others, these awesome relationships are your battery rechargers. You benefit as much, if not more from their fellowship, as they do from you, and when you call each other the lines go both ways. Don’t be alarmed if you only have maybe one or two of these friends and one of them is your spouse! This is a friend that has proven to you over time that you can trust them with anything, anytime, anywhere and YES they will still love you if you when hurting.
- The Holiest of Holies: Of course this friendship is the one we have with Christ our Lord, and there is only one of Him. He should always be your best friend and confidant. Often time when I have felt alone in the past, I will meditate on the fact that Christ lives in me, and if He lives IN me than He KNOWS me better than any friend that I could ever have! The fact is that none of your friends, not even your spouse, know you as intimately as Jesus does. He created you, He has been with you in every situation, every minute, every moment, every time. NONE of your human “friends” can say that! And He still loves you IN SPITE of it all! What a friend we have in Jesus!
The problem in friendships often comes, when we attempt to exchange levels of friendship out of desperation. In our tiredness we try advancing “Gossipy Ginger” to an inner-court friend, when “Trustworthy Trisha” is not available. Instead of crying on the shoulder of our Lord (In the Holiest of Holies) when Trish isn’t around, we start looking at our contact list and find the first “friend” who is home, and dish a plate of problems out, all our “Pasta and the marinara” too! Unfortunately where Trish would have eaten your dish with trust, humility, and prayed for you… Gossipy Ginger will start serving your dish to others! Simply because we didn’t realize the reality of the levels of friendship.
IN A PERFECT WORLD
When we live in a perfect world, with Christ, walking abundantly in love and no sin, everyone will be inner-court friends with each other! Scripture says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Rev 21:4”
There will be no; toll booths, bridge makers, trust barriers, or respect earnings. Only simple praises, worships, and Godly fellowship among the Sons and Daughters of God. However, until this day I would like to encourage you in the facts that:
- There is only ONE who belongs at the center of your life and in “The Holiest of Holies” and that is not your spouse it is Jesus.
- There will only ever be a handful of people who should be allowed into your “Inner-court” and one of these will/should/needs to be your spouse.
- You will have a multitude of “outer-court” friends and acquaintances, but you will probably only ever see them socially, and that is ok. It isn’t you, or anything that you are doing, they just aren’t ready for the inner-court yet and they may never be.
My Prayer Today,
Lord God, when your Son Jesus died, Your Word says that the “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (Mark 15:38). You tore the curtain in two in order that anyone who wants to enter into Your Holiest of Holies would be granted entrance through the blood of Jesus Christ. We, as believers, boldly desire to enter into Your presence and stay there. You are our closet friend, and we do not need any relationships apart from You. Reassure Your children Lord that you are right there waiting, You haven’t gone anywhere and You desire a friendly fellowship with them. You have created us to take what we receive in fellowship with You Lord, and give some of it to others, we thank You for this gift and desire fellowship with others, please reveal to us tonight Father who our “inner and outer-court” friends are. Lord all we desire is You. Thank you for giving us healthy relationships, and people who we can rely and trust on when we need a hug, handshake, confirmation, or encouragement. Help us to be good friends today Lord to others, just as You have been to us! In Your Son Jesus’ name, AMEN!
May the Lord bless you today in all your levels of friendship,
Did you know???
That in Exodus the High Priest who was allowed to enter into the Holiest of Holies had to wear bells on the bottom of his robe! If the High Priest was not found Holy, pure, and clean when he entered into the presence of the Lord… HE WOULD DIE! You would know because, the bells would stop ringing! Though there is no biblical proof to the priests wearing ropes around their ankles, the story goes that the High Priests not only wore bells but a rope tied to their ankle, so that their dead bodies could be dragged out from the Holiest of Holies upon death, if they were not sanctified.
To think that now we can enter into the presence of the Lord any time we want, and appear blameless before the Father because of His Son Jesus! WOOHOO! Hallelujah! Praise you Jesus! Thank you!
- The robe of the High Priest was to have bells on its hem so they made a noise when he moved:- Exo 28:31
- “The robe that goes under the ephod is to be made entirely of blue wool. Exo 28:32
- It is to have a hole for the head, and this hole is to be reinforced with a woven binding to keep it from tearing. Exo 28:33
- All around its lower hem put pomegranates of blue, purple, and red wool, alternating with gold bells. Exo 28:34 (SEE 28:33)
- Exo 28:35 Aaron is to wear this robe when he serves as priest. When he comes into my presence in the Holy Place or when he leaves it, the sound of the bells will be heard, and he will not be killed. [Good News Bible]
Today is Day 25 on Jessica’s 365 Days to a Whole New Me journey, you can follow along daily and begin your own journey at http://wholeheartedministries.com/365-days-to-a-whole-new-life . We all have the same 365 days, but we all have different opportunities. How you spend the next year of your life is entirely up to you! Focusing to spend your life on personal growth day by day, will result in a life like you have never dreamed! We aren’t talking “pie in the sky” type changes, we are talking real life changes… changes for the better, changes toward becoming a whole new you!